Captain’s pillow is on the left, Mom’s on the right. We LOVE how these turned out and gave them to each other as a present
This is a really fun indoor project, perfect for a cold (or warm!) winter’s day. They turned out so charming that we decided to make them again in the fall, assembly-line-fashion, for some sweet Christmas presents for family.
You’ll need: a pack of colorful felt, pillow stuffing, scissors and a hot glue gun.
First, choose your colors for your front and back of the pillow. We simply took a 8.5×11 piece and cut it in half. We both chose to have our front and back pieces the same color, but you can mix and match anything you want. Plug in your glue gun to get it warmed up. Decide on a design, but encouraging younger kids to stick to simple shapes is helpful, as the felt can be difficult to cut with intricate designs. This is also a great time to talk about the artist Piet Mondrian (see below).
Cut out your design pieces and decide how to arrange them on one piece of the background. Mom’s (or another adult) job is to glue the pieces on with the glue gun. Admire them! Then the adult will make a line of glue, about 1/4 inch from the edge, on the back panel. Leave a gap on one side for stuffing the pillow. Press the designed front onto the back and let it dry (this happens pretty quickly).
Now it’s time to stuff the pillows- yay! Glue the gap closed and voila!
Just making wild pillows is fun all on it’s own, but a mini art lesson can easily be introduced at this time, if it’s appropriate for the kids. You can make one more pillow together in the style of Piet Mondrian, and learn a little bit about the artist as well. Here is our lesson:
Piet Mondrian was born in the Netherlands in 1872. He was influenced by many artistic styles, and even helped found an artistic movement called “De Stijl”. He died in 1944, and created about 250 paintings in his lifetime.
The paintings that Piet Mondrian are most famous for are rectangles of white and primary colors, dissected by black lines. He did not always paint this way, however. Mondrian’s first paintings depicted scenes found in real life. They were done in a style similar to impressionism. As his style grew and changed, he stopped using any colors besides the three primaries: red, yellow, and blue.
Mondrian became friends with some other artists and together they began the movement called neoplasticism. They called it “Di Stijl” after the first name of a journal that Mondrian and his friends started. Both “neoplasticism” and “Di Stijl” are correct terms. They believed that the essence, the foundation of all things, could be found in the simplest form: straight lines and primary colors.
Try a Mondrian-inspired pillow! Use white felt for the background and make simple squares and rectangles in red, yellow and blue. The colors really pop on the white background!
Visit education.com for more on felt pillows and we’d love to hear your felt pillow ideas here on kartwheels!
Cheers and happy pillowing! Karen